Please read and give some of your input.
Please read and give some of your input.
It’s coming, but I believe this one has been around for a while. This was noted in an earlier post this year.
3 (1) A person is eligible to obtain for a licence as a home inspector if the person has done the following:
(a) completed and passed a course of study of no less than a minimum number of hours set by the board that covers all the components required by the board;
(b) met the training and experience as required by the board;
© passed a valid, reliable examination designed to test competence in home inspection practice, developed to accepted standards adopted by the board; and
(d) any other requirement established by the board, this Act, or its regulations.
This part sounds very familiar.
I understand that second reading was completed October 25, 2007.
Bill (No. M220) intitled Home Inspection Act, 2007, PRINTED. Ms. Thorne.
Seems fine, boilerplate but fine.
According to this document it hasn’t passed 1st reading.
We have a meeting on it on the 22nd of November http://bc.nachi.org/westernbc/event227.html
Who from Van Island is going that would like to car pool
My name is Mark Nicholet and I am new to this resourceful forum. I live in BC and I am currently studying the Home Inspection course through Carson & Dunlop.
I plan to start a new home inspection business in the the early summer of 2008.
I would welcome any insight regarding this new bill that is in the BC legislature. Particularly, if my education with Carson & Dunlop should satisfy the requirements of being licensed in the future. I understand that is is still speculation but I would certainly welcome your feedback.
I know the two associations (CAHPI & ASTT) are currently working with the government licensing program. I plan to go down the CAHPI required certification route in my house inspection career. I am hoping that this will be enough to become licensed in the province of BC.
Many I know have done the C&D and where very satisfied with it .
Please do visit our BB as the education available here is great.
There are a lot of NACHI members in BC and a search should find you one close to you who might be able to give you some help.
Being in Ontario I can not give you much information on the new License .
I understand it could be coming soon to Both BC and Alberta .
If this happens then I wonder what this will do too the CAHPI associations out there .
In Ontario there seems to be some Difficulties surfacing with CAHPI here .
All the best and if I can help my web site is below and that will get you my email .
Here is a link to a News broadcast regarding this issue:
I am not sure exactly when this broadcast has taken place but I think it is fairly recent.
Another thing, is I am very new to the industry as I havent even completed my schooling yet. Therefore, I am looking into and learning about all the different aspects involved including associations. I seem to keep coming back to NACHI as this is definately the most valuable resource for home inspectors on the internet. I plan to join NACHI when I have completed my course this summer. I am not sure exactly what CAHPI has to offer except maybe being more in the spotlight in BC than NACHI. Sorry, I dont want to bash any associations at all as I think they all play a valuable role in the industry.
This regulation process in BC definately interests me as I am not sure what impact it will have on new home inspectors.
If you listened to the NDP all home inspectors would have to belong to a union!
B.C. planning to license home inspectors
**Last Updated: Friday, February 8, 2008 | 9:25 AM ET **
**CBC News **
The British Columbia government is moving to protect consumers by requiring home inspectors to have a license.
The decision follows repeated calls for tougher regulations and is welcomed by John Grasty, the acting president of the Consumer Advocacy and Support for Homeowners Society.
Grasty says he regularly hears from homeowners who tell him that, despite an inspection, their dream of a new home has turned into a nightmare.
Just a few weeks ago, he said, he took a call from a woman on [Vancouver Island], who had just purchased a home and discovered a gas leak that wasn’t detected by a home inspector.
He said he often gets calls from people who purchase a home, only to find that it had contained a marijuana grow operation.
Grasty supports licensing for home inspectors, but worries about the standards they will be required to meet.
“They would have to be tested annually, or regularly, on several trades such as plumbing and electrical,” he said.
Even a professional engineer may not be qualified in all of those areas, he said.
Diane Thorne, housing critic for B.C.‘s New Democratic Party, said the introduction of a licensing system can’t come soon enough.
Thorne said almost anyone can call themselves a home inspector in B.C. All they have to do, she said, is take a course online for about $200. "You can even have fewer qualifications than that and get jobs,’’ she said.
New rules requiring home inspectors to be licensed are expected to be in place this fall.
"New Democratic Party"
N.D.P. That says it all.
It would be interesting to have just one person step up to the plate and provide some numbers on these “numerous complaints” so that we could do a little number crunching. It just seems that a ratio of complaints vs inspections is never available and until it is these claims are just not reliable. Until that comparison is made these claims are just political grand-standing at our expense.
George et al…
All you will hear about is complaints, for the simple reason that nobody will phone their MLA, MPP, or MP and tell them what a good job their inspector did. Any data provided will be skewed and useless for that simple reason.
A person with a lot of time on their hands and good research skills, could probably come up with a reasonable ratio of total inspections versus complaints. If someone pushing for licensing had the proper data, I bet they wouldn’t provide it for the simple reason that it would negate their own reasoning.
Just my thoughts
I have spent considerable time reseaching case law and home inspectors. Given the number of sales vs. inspections the ratio of suits by disgruntled purchasers is low. However we don’t know how many do not complain, how many are settled by the inspector and complainant outside of the courts…
Licencing in my opinion will not stop disgruntled clients, or law suits, its objective is to stop the special interests and the non outside oversight of a self regulating profession that in Ontario has repeatedly shown its contempt for its members and democracy within its realm.
Believe me at least in Ontario certain Ministries are now involved investigating one association because of the issues and concerns raised about self regulation. It does not mean licencing will result but only that the appropriate Ministries will take action as per Provincial laws such as the Corporations Act and the breach of a Statute specifically granted to one association as per law. Don’t think for a minute that a private members bill cannot be withdrawn by the Lt. Governor in Council if the Act is being breached negligently.
Wrong there have been very few complaints ( One I think ) ( and it was a phone call not a written complaint ) this could be just an election ploy.
Found this quote. Can you verify it? Don’t know its age.
A recent statement by the American National Association of Certified Home Inspectors (NACHI) indicates: “According to the Foundation of Real Estate Appraisers (FREA), British Columbia has the highest home inspection litigation in all of Canada.”
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Bruce’s Consumer Alert
With the ever-increasing number of lawsuits by recent home buyers against home inspectors for allegedly performing poor inspections, consumers obviously require more information on how to avoid that.
Court action is very expensive and most new homeowners cannot afford to pay the high legal fees required to win their case for compensation.
A recent statement by the American National Association of Certified Home Inspectors (NACHI) indicates:
“According to the Foundation of Real Estate Appraisers (FREA), British Columbia has the highest home inspection litigation in all of Canada.”
Based on our experience and involvement in attempting to assist recent home buyers get justice to resolve poor home inspections performed by other home inspection companies, here is what we believe is causing litigation.
Firstly, most consumers have no clue exactly what their Inspector is required to or will report to them when hired to examine a home or property for them. Their realtor should be making them aware of the rules (Inspection Standards) that govern inspections by providing them with a copy prior to the inspection, but this rarely happens.
Further, prospective buyers do not understand the differences between the major Home Inspector Associations in this province, nor are they aware of what training is required to be recognized as a professional and competent inspector. Homebuyers often make decisions to hire an inspector based solely on what their realtor tells them or go for the cheapest inspector.
If a consumer was going to have surgery or buy a new car he would pick the best doctor and attempt to get the very best used vehicle by calling on his mechanic, friends who know about cars, or hiring a specialist from the Automobile Association to come into his driveway and test the car.
When it comes to spending close to a half a million dollars or more on what will probably be their single most expensive investment, they throw caution to the wind. It’s unbelievable.
We have advised clients that, if their funds are so limited that they can barely afford the cost of a proper inspection, they may want to reconsider purchasing a home in that price range.
Anyone who has owned their own residence realizes that there are a lot of other things to be purchased to maintain the home, such as garden equipment, ladders, the list is endless.
CMHC has recently introduced a programme where first time buyers can purchase a home with virtually no down payment.
This places many uninformed consumers in the position of not being able to keep their recently purchased homes if the economy suddenly changes and interest rates rise.
Some of us remember when interest rates went from 7% to 21% not too many years ago.
There are only two formally recognized Inspection Associations in the Province of British Columbia.
The first is the British Columbia Institute of Property Inspectors (BCIPI), which has been described in the media as a professional organization. Members of that organization must be affiliated with the Applied Science Technologists and Technicians of B.C. (ASTTBC). The ASTTBC organization is mandated under the provincial ASTT Act to grant certification to Home Inspectors.
No other inspectors’ home inspection association group is permitted to refer to their inspectors as being “certified.” ASTTBC has a membership of over 8,000 Technologists, Technicians, and Technical Specialists in B.C.
In order to receive a designation as a “Certified” Home Inspector with ASTTBC, BCIPI members have no choice but to take their home inspection training at the British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT).
In order to be granted “certification”, a BCIPI inspector must take formal recognized training at the college or university level.
These training facilities are not directly connected with the Home Inspectors association.
Home Inspection training provided outside the influence of an Inspectors association creates, in our view, a more objective and formal examination process. To learn more about this organization, go to your Internet search engine and type in the initials BCIPI.
One of the documents you will want to review first on the BCIPI web page before hiring your inspector is their Standards of Inspection.
This document dictates the responsibilities of the inspectors in performing their inspections. More will be said about those “rules” of inspection later.
The second Home Inspector Association in B.C. is the Canadian Association of Home and Property Inspectors (CAHPI).
They have been described as being more of a trade organization as opposed to a professional group. One of the major differences between the BCIPI group above and CAHPI is in their methods of receiving training and accreditation.
For example, BCIPI inspectors must attend BCIT for inspection training and pass the Institute’s exams.
Their individual home inspectors association has no influence over the process.
CAHPI inspectors conversely can arrange to take correspondence courses from any source they can find.
The CAHPI group does, however, offer correspondence courses through an out of province Inspection Company, for which they charge a fee for exams. Providing the CAHPI property inspector writes and passes their exam and performs five inspections to the satisfaction of the CAHPI executive, they can perform inspections.
The question consumers should be asking themselves here is:
Would they hire a doctor who has only completed his first five operations, regardless of his examination marks?
Fast tracking inspectors is a risky business.
To become a good inspector requires many years of on site inspections, learning from each error or omission.
Obviously under the CAHPI policy, a consumer must be very careful to select an inspector who has completed more than five inspections, regardless of how much insurance they purport to have.
On the matter of “Certification”, only BCIPI members can legally use the designation “certified” inspector.
The legislative right to do this flows from the powers granted to the Applied Science Technologist & Technicians under the provincial ASTT Act.
The CAHPI use the term “Registered” RHI to denote an inspector that has successfully completed 250 inspections under their program. The term “Registered” was granted by the British Columbia Registrar of Companies and is more to do with a job protection title.
To gain more insight into that organization, search the Internet under the initials CAHPI.
While in the CAHPI site, review what they refer to as their Standards of Practice. BCIPI calls their similar regulations “Standard of Inspections”.
There are subtle differences between the two associations rules for inspection, but they both essentially set out what the inspector is obliged to inspect and what he/she is “Not required” to inspect.
There lies the problem, which results in many lawsuits against inspectors. Homebuyers ASSUME that their inspector is going to check all the perimeter drains, check for buried oil tanks, and report asbestos, mold conditions, or many other items uninformed buyers would expect that a home inspector would review.
But take a closer look at those Standards of Practice.
Under the CAHPI Section 13 General Limitations and Exclusions, you will see that their inspectors are “Not” required to note “Wood destroying organisms” and “Environmental hazards” such as buried oil tanks. A recent Court case in Kamloops was brought by buyers who accused their CAHPI Pillar to Post inspector of not reporting known termite problems in the home they purchased.
Oil tanks are a real problem in older areas of Vancouver because there are thousands of them buried in Vancouver yards. If they leak, considerable cost can be realized for cleanup.
They are the responsibility of the current homeowner to get rid of once they are decommissioned, but many realtors try to pass off this cost to a new buyer. This goes against the City of Vancouver’s Fire By-Law (No. 8191, sec. 4.10.3) and Sewer and Watercourse By-Law (No. 8093, sec. 5.3). City Bulletin 2001-001-EV dated January 17, 2001, states
: “Oil tanks which will not be reused or have been out of service for two years shall be removed.” A tank removal permit must be obtained from the Fire Prevention Department.
Further, Inspectors are not required to offer “warranties or guarantees of any kind”. They only inspect areas that are “readily accessible”, which means that if the homeowner has placed boxes or other items in front of a heating unit, for example, the inspector is not obliged to inspect the furnace.
Under the CAHPI Glossary of Italicized Terms you will see the words “Representative Number”.
This simply means that when an inspector enters a room, for example, they are not required to check all the windows, doors, electrical outlets found therein. This allows them to complete their inspection much quicker and go to another inspection job elsewhere.
This method of only doing random checking can also apply to reviewing the condition of outside perimeter drains.
The inspector may not have to check any under their inspection requirements or choose to test only one out of four.
Even a homebuyer with limited knowledge would realize that if an inspector only checked one out of four similar items in a house, there is a very good chance that one or more of those other items may be defective.
The problem created by accepting quick and limited checklist type inspection reports is compounded when too many buyers hire the cheapest inspector recommended by their realtor.
The Vancouver Better Business Bureau recommends against accepting checklist reports because they provide insufficient information.
Buyers fail to realize that all too often many realtors’ main interest is in making a quick sale. Unprofessional realtors sometimes convince their clients that exhaustive testing is time consuming and unnecessary.
From time to time we hear from buyers that the realtor told them three other inspectors checked the house out already, so everything must be okay.
If they checked a little further they might find that one or more of those inspectors may be on the selling realtor’s preferred inspectors list.
That should set off alarm bells to an alert purchaser.
We recommend that buyers go to the Better Business Bureau of Mainland B.C. at www.bbbvan.org and search under “Buyer’s Tips”.
Enter the word “home inspection” for more information.
The Courts and Better Business Bureau suggest that a prospective buyer who hires an inspector recommended by a realtor who will profit from the sale of the property is a fool. “Buyer Beware” they will say.
For more information on this, contact the Vancouver Better Business Bureau at (604) 682-2711 or go to their web site.
In January 2003 the Provincial Court of B.C. in the case of Brownjohn v. Pillar to Post (Home Inspections) made some interesting statements. The Court’s Reasons For Judgment made the following points concerning how an inspection should proceed, comments on Pillar to Post reporting methods and what was the value to the consumer relying on the CAHPI Standards of Practice of assuring them of getting a thorough inspection.
The Court in part referred to the CAHPI Pillar to Post inspector’s report as being an “awkwardly formatted document” of “relatively small print.”
It contained a number of paragraphs that protected the inspector from any useful legal action against him and it offered the homebuyer no protection. One of the most revealing statements of how poorly these limited inspections are for a home purchaser were revealed when the Court stated:
“One imagines that persons wanting useful and reliable advice about their prospective home purchase might be discouraged from retaining inspectors if they really understood that the inspector was doing everything possible to ensure he could not be held accountable for the way in which he did his work.”
In our view what the Court has said is, “Why even bother hiring an inspector who provides such limited work and concentrates more on protecting themselves against just about any mistake?”
The type of report the Court was reviewing in this case is commonly known as a Check List.
They consist of nothing more than a number of pages with small check boxes where the inspector ticks off what he supposedly inspected.
Checklist reporting allows the inspector to complete his work quickly and move on to another inspection job.
There is very little room for written comments and the remaining pages are full of disclaimers limiting the home purchaser from attacking the inspector if something goes wrong.
Unprofessional realtors recommend inspectors who use this type of reporting system because their limited capacity to provide useful and full information to the new home buyer is less of a threat to the real estate deal crumbling. Limited information in reports also raises fewer concerns with the true condition of the house, thereby preventing the purchaser from reopening up the contract for negotiation.
If the home purchaser errs in not reading the inspector’s contract and later wants to sue the inspector for doing a poor inspection, their lawyer will immediately draw their attention to the wording in the inspector’s contract, which places a Limitation On Liability.
The next question he will ask is: “Why did you sign that contract in the first place?” Typical wording in Check List Reports reads as follows:
“Inspector’s Liability for mistakes or omissions in this inspector’s report is limited to a refund of the fee paid for this inspection and report.”
In short, this clause means that if the inspector missed anything in his/her inspection, regardless of whether it was a fifty dollar or a hundred thousand dollar problem for the new home buyer, all the new homeowner could expect to receive in compensation for the inspector’s mistakes would be the ($300 or $500, etc.) fee they initially paid for the inspector’s work.
Our advice is to not sign any contract that limits your ability for compensation to only the fee paid for the inspection.
To make matters worse, some inspection companies ask the home buyer to pay an additional $600.00 to receive extended liability protection from faults generated by the inspector.
The question that still puzzles independent inspectors is:
“Why would any person willing to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on buying a home risk it all to not read and understand what type of inspection they were going to receive from the inspector they hired and know what protection they could expect in compensation if something serious was missed?”
The answer in part, we believe, is that buyers initially are so enthralled with the home that they don’t want to hear any bad reports about it.
We overheard one realtor saying to a client that the fact that the inspector had found that the perimeter drains on the house were defective was not a big deal. He could find someone to fix the problem much cheaper than the inspector had suggested it could cost to remove all of the landscaping, tear up sidewalks, and remove the deck to replace the drainage tiles in the ground. The realtor in fact was making light of a very serious problem, which could cause water to enter the basement at some point in time.
The time to negotiate deficiencies is before you remove your subjects.
When we later encouraged our client to take independent quotes on replacement of the drainage system, they realized that it was a very expensive undertaking (in excess of $20,000).
They chose to walk away from the house and within two weeks purchased another home with fewer problems.
After the Reasons for Judgment were released by the Court on the Pillar to Post Home Inspection case the Real Estate Council prepared a short bulletin called “Legally Speaking” for release to real estate agents in the province. (For a copy of that document, see the “Interesting Articles” section.)
This notice did not bring out all the important facts but it points out that, if consumers expect to get a thorough inspection of the home they want to purchase for only a few hundred dollars, they are in for a big surprise. The Court commented:
“The home inspection was not being used as an assurance of the structural integrity of this building.
To do that for $200 would be a fool’s errand, in my view.”
It is the old story that you get what you pay for in life.
If you want a cheap car, you pay less money. If you need the best lawyer or doctor to save you from disaster, you will have to pay more.
Too often realtors interested more in making a quick sale will refer the prospective homebuyer to three or four hand picked inspectors.
They will promote these inspectors as being qualified, but at the same time say that their fees are low. Any fool should know the two don’t mix.
Because of recent complaints, even the Real Estate Council is beginning to realize that realtors referring inspectors leads to Court action.
The last problem we detect is that many realtors will recommend a home inspector to their client but they don’t believe they have any duty to point out to the buyer that they had better make sure they get the “Standard of Practice” or rules and conditions under which the inspector will do his job.
If the buyer believes for a second that the inspector is going to do a complete inspection of the home, they are misguided.
When realtors don’t alert buyers to the fact that there are inspection standards to be followed, and ensure that they are produced before the inspection, concerns arise. We have brought to the attention of the Real Estate Council of B.C. the fact that we rarely see evidence of realtors ensuring that their clients receive these standards prior to the inspection. Their response was that there is nothing in their Act that forces them to compel realtors to warn buyers that inspections of this type are very limited in nature. So change the Act, we say, and provide consumers with more protection.
The realtor should ensure that their client receives those inspection procedures from the inspector prior to him starting his work. This is one of the points that came out in the above Court case.
The Pillar to Post inspector called as his witness a CAHPI inspector who stated that the “recommended approach” before starting the inspection was to “provide the contract (Inspection standards) to the realtor in advance and subsequently reviewing with the client the limitations of the home inspection process.”
By going over the document that the inspector will be guided by while doing his inspection, the buyer will know straightaway whether the inspector will check all the outside drains, comment on the possible presence of a buried oil tank on the property, discovery of mold or asbestos, whether he will actually go up onto the roof, or many other things.
If the buyer was alerted before the inspection by the inspector or realtor that certain things would not be covered, then the buyer would have the opportunity to call in an expert to address their concerns.
Most homebuyers would be amazed at just how many items or systems an inspector is not obliged to comment on without calling in an expert.
So why don’t all realtors who recommend inspectors to their buyers ensure that the Inspection Standards are presented up front to the buyer and discussed before proceeding the inspection?
Our view is very much in line with what the Court said and that is that, if the buyer realized that all they would get back from the inspector if something was missed regardless of the seriousness of the error was what they paid for the inspection and further that most inspections of this type don’t report much, then they would not hire the inspector in the first place. Most home inspections are nothing more than a quick glance at the condition of the home.
The realtors need the inspection, in many cases, so that the deal can be concluded, the mortgage let, and their commission paid.
This is all understandable, but we have observed too many situations where our clients are rushed into making quick decisions.
So how can a buyer avoid a lawsuit and get the type of inspection that will provide sufficient information to make an informed condition on whether to purchase the house or not? Here are the five steps we recommend.
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B.C. to license home inspectors
By Tom Fletcher - BC Local News - February 10, 2008
The BC . government is preparing to introduce a new licensing system and regulations for home inspectors.
The solicitor general’s ministry is accepting public input until Feb. 22 on proposed rules that would establish a mandatory system to ensure home inspectors have up-to-date training on building codes, as well as electrical, natural gas and fire code regulations.
The government intends to have legislation ready by this fall.
NDP housing critic Diane Thorne introduced a private member’s bill last spring calling for regulations that prohibit home inspections done without a provincial licence.
“For years, the home inspection industry has called for regulation, but Solicitor General John Les has ignored their concerns,” she said.
B.C. home inspectors are currently self-regulating, with two organizations offering voluntary membership and certification.
The B.C. branch of the Canadian Association of Home and Property Inspectors offers an online course and set of exams that lead to certification.
Applicants are allowed to challenge the exams.
The B.C. Institute of Property Inspectors has a volunteer board of examiners from the industry and post-secondary instructors who evaluate applicants’ experience and education. To become a certified property inspector, the institute requires house and property inspection courses and a program on the B.C. Building Code offered by B.C. Institute of Technology.
The ministry’s consultation paper reviews the approach taken by the professional organizations. It asks whether inspectors should be required to complete certain courses to obtain a licence, or whether those with practical experience but lacking formal academic training should be allowed to write exams to qualify.
The consultation includes a proposed definition of home inspection, a “non-invasive visual examination” of the outside and inside followed by a written report.
Inspectors typically use a moisture meter to check for water leaks in the roof and walls, as well as checking structural work, roof condition and wiring.
The government is considering whether to make insurance mandatory for home inspectors, to cover situations where customers claim financial loss over a mistake made by an inspector.
If adopted, the licensing and regulations would be administered by the Business Practices and Consumer Protection Authority, an independent group that has a contract with the government to oversee designated trades and professions.
The consultation paper is available on the provincial government website at www.pssg.gov.bc.ca/legislation/current.htm along with directions for submitting responses by email or fax
There are many misnomers in the article! Its a shame it will be taken as gospel. Just look who wrote the article. Talk about self serving!
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Remember the leaky condo stories, and excess moisture conditions out there? Not to say in Ontario that we don’t have leaks and water problems here too!